Bernas: Term limits would be big step toward better state government
Jillian Bernas, Republican candidate for Illinois state representative in District 56, believes that it is time to fix the state’s broken legislative system.
“One way to do so is by enacting term limits,” Bernas tweeted last week.
Bernas, who is vice president of the Chicago Young Republicans (CYR), said that career politicians -- like many of those currently working in Springfield -- are consistently ignoring the people they were elected to serve.
“Special interests and corruption have defined Springfield for far too long,” she said. “This has led to insider deals and reckless spending policies that hurt hard-working families statewide.”
And despite an overwhelming majority of Illinoisans supporting term limits, Bernas said that career politicians refuse to bring up the topic for a vote because they would rather protect their power than listen to the people.
“I support term limits and as your state representative will make sure the interests of those in my district are correctly represented,” she said.
Democracy sits at a critical juncture. Lawmakers must recognize the anti-establishment movement bubbling up in both parties, Bernas wrote in a March Crain’s Chicago Business item.
“Politicians, elected officials and party leaders must try to understand the phenomenon that has led to the enthusiasm behind Trump and Sen. Bernie Sanders,” she said. “Polls consistently show that voters feel government is not listening to them -- now it is time to listen.”
She also thinks voters deserve a new generation of leadership in Springfield to provide the programs and services that they need, particularly for the state’s most vulnerable.
In fact, during a Feb. 11 “In The Loop” episode that aired on WYCC PBS Chicago, Bernas said she’s excited to see young people speaking up and voicing their opinions on a variety of issues.
“I think it’s a symptom of an overarching problem that we have in our city and it’s one where there’s been a power structure that’s been in play for years, for decades and it’s really been causing problems for a lot of families that live in the city,” she said.
The status quo is something she thinks Gov. Bruce Rauner has been trying to overcome.
“He’s down there where he’s inherited a system that doesn’t work, is full of bad policies, where there’s gridlock in the General Assembly, so he’s trying to … compromise,” Bernas said. “But we’re just not seeing it from the other side.”
The incumbent advantage in an election is very strong, and the city’s current power structure is very hard to beat, she added.
“There are special interest groups that want to make sure these people stay in power,” Bernas said.
That’s why Bernas encourages young activists to do what the CYR does and take an active role in the political life of the state.
“Look at where you can craft your message … and go door to door or call people up on the phone and tell them about what it is you’re fighting for,” she said.